Dear Orkney News,
An article in the New European (March 25th) on the possibility of the next Chancellor of Germany being from the Green Party got me thinking about the status of green parties in the UK.
Caroline Lucas does an excellent job as the sole English Green party MP and I would be proud to have her represent my constituency, but unfortunately given the Westminster electoral system the English Greens will always struggle to expand on their one MP.
Conversely the Scottish system for electing MSPs has allowed the Scottish Greens to get a sizeable representation in Holyrood and make real policy impact on how Scotland operates. To see Lorna Slater, the Scottish Greens co-convenor interviewed on the Andrew Marr programme was for me a real breakthrough moment. This gave Lorna the platform to do what she is very good at, namely putting forward the positive policy ideas which the Scottish Greens have for Scotland, and which the Holyrood electoral system gives us the ability to get implemented.
Another breakthrough moment was the election of Steve Sankey as a Green Party councillor in Orkney. This may seem quite a mundane event, but given the tradition of Orcadian councillors being avowedly independent this was anything but mundane. Steve has applied a collegiate approach as a councillor which has produced funding wins for Orkney and convinced another Orcadian councillor to join the Green party.
The fact that in letters and articles folk who are of the pro and anti-independence viewpoint pour scorn on the Scottish Green party tells me that we are on the right track. When you are accused of both stealing SNP votes and of being SNP stooges that tells me we have our political opponents worried.
I think the thing that non-plusses our opponents is that we are pro-independence for a purpose, which is to make Scotland a better place to live, but in the here and now we propose and get implemented policies which make Scotland a better place to live.
So in conclusion I would ask my fellow Scottish electors to take a good look at the Green party, its achievements thus far, the policy ideas for the next 5 years and vote Green in the coming Holyrood election.
Jon Southerington, Orkney
Related article: Councillor Scott Signs Up With The Scottish Greens